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— Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems
Are you in on the joke? Did you see the twist coming?
America is about to pull off the greatest redemption arc in the history of finance. The United States of America just swallowed the biggest orange pill we have ever seen with the SEC's approval of spot bitcoin ETFs. It wasn't easy, we didn't deserve it, but here we are.
After going off of the gold standard in 1971 and printing like a madman since 2008, America's shenanigans have caught up to it. Today, the U.S. is deeply indebted and top-heavy demographically. It manufactures barely anything and the AI is coming for our knowledge work jobs.
And none of it will fucking matter. America now has a call option with the bitcoin ETF. But it's not the call option you think it is.
China, Russia, and various muppets around the world will continue to stack gold. Meanwhile, the U.S. has moved onto gold 2.0. It is staying one step ahead and adopting bitcoin in a soft, intangible way. No matter what happens, America has ensured it will stay relevant for a long, long time.
With the bitcoin ETFs approved, demand will flow into U.S. banks which will vacuum up bitcoin on the open market. If bitcoin ever becomes anything close to the world reserve currency, the U.S. will benefit greatly with a significant amount of it within its sphere of influence, regardless of if the cavalry ever comes.
America didn't approve the ETFs because it's an aging parent acquiescing to nagging children asking the same question over and over — it's because the bitcoin ETF is a strategic decision for the United States of America.
Dammit, Junior, if you're going to drink underage, you're going to do it under my roof. From now on, Uncle Sam will get you coming and going, whether it's stacking bitcoin, liquidating bitcoin for dollars to pay bills, or paying capital gains on the spread. Uncle Sam and his kid brother — the banking system — can use that cash flow to acquire more bitcoin as he sees fit. Debits and credits, the U.S. controls it all, including the gold and now the bitcoin.
I think China set all this in motion when it kicked out the bitcoin miners in 2021. Bitcoin doesn't conform to a command-and-control economy well. At least in America, the cronies here are familiar with the definition of capitalism, however uneven its application. The timing was right for the U.S. and it pounced at the market bottom.
If back in 2020, I told you Gary Gensler was chair of the SEC and eventually approved a spot bitcoin ETF, everyone involved in bitcoin and crypto would consider his tenure a success. But because of the fucked up way we got here, he’s been labeled Public Enemy #1. People forget the man taught a course at MIT about bitcoin and its tech. I’ve been a ghostwriter for many years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: you can’t fake interest in a subject. We may never know the real Gary Gensler, but I know he’s at least somewhat interested in bitcoin.
But in the end, this story isn't even about Gary, and it's only a little bit about bitcoin. The rule of law prevailed when the court forced the SEC back to the table with the ETF filings after it ruled in favor of Grayscale.
This reality will be tough to swallow for anyone who thinks bitcoin is going to single-handedly dismantle the nation-state. That was never going to happen. In a world with nuclear weapons, you will need the nation-state. Go on building your bunker but forget acquiring your own heavy artillery. You will need the U.S. to fight off the drone swarms. At least now, it might have the money to do so.
Imagine World War II has ended. America is in the catbird seat with deep gold reserves and other major players in utter devastation. Where did you want to be in 1945? You did not want to be in a marginal nation with a personal stash of gold. No, you wanted to be in America, the country with the most gold and the rule of law. Over the next 25 years, America saw post-war prosperity unlike anything we've ever seen.
America used to be the big swinging dick. With the de facto adoption of bitcoin, my country tis of thee has finally sent blood flow to its long flaccid penis. America can hyperinflate the dollar into kingdom come, give the boomers the sendoff they want, sustainably incorporate immigrants to offset our aging population, and acquire the autonomous weapons we'll need to fend off the barbarians at the gates.
Granted, in this ETF euphoria, let’s not forget there is still work to do. I’ve been around the block for a bit, and Elizabeth Warren’s attempt to ban self-custody in the U.S. because “that’ll show Hamas” is the single dumbest take I have ever heard about bitcoin. Regardless, I doubt the same government that couldn't figure out how to secure a Twitter/X account or post to its own website is capable of executing on such a thing. Like Andreas Antonopoulos once said, it requires a government that can do IT.
America could fight bitcoin or it could do nothing and benefit immensely. I have my bets on what will happen.
When I was in high school, a big song on the radio was John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change." It's an outcry from the 9/11 era in which a rally-around-the-flag moment became a bullshit attempt to defend the petrodollar Generation X and millennials won't soon forget, much like the boomers with Vietnam.
is gonna rule the population
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change
Every generation starts the same: bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to burn shit down, only to end up tired, jaded, and hoping to get theirs. You may not be able to change the world, but you can change yourself and that starts with understanding how the world works. I'll buy bitcoin and pay my taxes. We're in on the joke now. Anyone who is an American or the owner of some bitcoin is in on the joke as well. Betting on bitcoin just became a bet on America because it's always been the biggest player at the intersection of the old world and the new.
If you're under the age of 40, there's a good chance you've come to see the U.S. primarily as a meme: 'Murica, the overweight dude with a trucker mustache wearing a tank-top and holey jeans, smoking Marlboro Reds, chugging Jack Daniels from the bottle, with Bruce Springsteen blasting on the radio and a bald eagle sitting perched on his shoulder.
It's time to get used to Uncle Sam. He's a shitty uncle, but he's the only one we got and he tends to get things right if you give him long enough. He's going to be around for a while, and he just won again, whether we like it or not.
Be a good American, tip a bitcoiner